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Mini U programs

As part of the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management, Mini U is a department contributing to the community engagement goals of the University of Manitoba.

Join us alongside approximately 16,000 children participating in our educational, sport and recreational programs throughout the year.

Structure

  • The programs are organized into 3 main age groups:

  • Each age group contains a wide range of program options that are organized in 5 main categories:

  • The department also offers services available to participants of all ages, such as:

Program goals

Understanding why we do what we do is critical to our success. Together, we strive to develop the leadership and physical activity capacity of others.

  • Mission

    1. Develops children and youth as educated leaders in physical activity for young people.
    2. Provides a context for experiential education of students in undergraduate degree programs to develop, disseminate and discover the benefits of working with children and youth in the promotion of physical activity.
    3. Provides excellent and inclusive recreation/sport and educational experiences to young people.
    4. Promotes the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management and the University of Manitoba as a post-secondary destination.
    5. Contributes to the creation and dissemination of physical activity knowledge.
  • Vision

    To be recognized locally and nationally as a leader in providing evidence-based programs while actively collaborating in the creation and dissemination of physical activity knowledge. Mini U Programs develops excellent, innovative leaders and provides stimulating, quality programs for children and youth that reflect the values of inclusiveness, fair play and healthy development.

The Mini U leadership model wheel with building relationships, problem solving, communication and teamwork all revolving in a circle around reflection.

Leadership development

Being a leader is more than being up at the front of a group, the captain of the team or in a position of authority. It is about contributing to the success of others, influencing the group towards positive outcomes and bringing people together. We are committed to helping young people develop an understanding of and gain leadership skills.

Intended learning outcomes

Intended learning outcomes for each leadership skill have been developed and are built into lesson plans, practice plans and every day recreational activities.

Building relationships

L.B.1* Children will gain the skills and confidence to develop one new meaningful relationship/friendship with another participant.
L.B.2* Children will demonstrate motivating and encouraging behaviour towards others within their group.
L.B.3 Children will understand the meaning of respect.

Problem solving

L.B.1* Children will identify and understand the root of a problem and the steps they can take to find a solution.
L.B.2* Children will understand that each problem is unique and there are multiple pathways to finding solutions.
L.B.3 Children will demonstrate the ability to work within a group to solve a problem.
L.B.4 Children will demonstrate the ability to solve a problem and compare/create multiple solutions independently.
L.B.5 Children will demonstrate confidence with their decisions while remaining receptive to others’ ideas.

Communication

L.B.1* Children communicate with others non-verbally and verbally in a way that is appropriate for the promotion of physical activity.
L.B.2* Children will be provided opportunities to gain confidence and competence in the expression of their own ideas, thoughts and perspectives related to a topic that interests them.
L.B.3 Children will be given the opportunity to demonstrate the understanding of a topic to the group.
L.B.4 Children will appreciate the importance of being positive and constructive with communication.

Teamwork

L.B.1* Children will understand that everyone has unique strengths and abilities that can be used in a team setting to accomplish a common goal.
L.B.2* Children will engage others around them to take part in activities.
L.B.3 Children will understand the importance of creating an inclusive environment (i.e. a respectful and equitable environment).
L.B.4 Children will be able to identify individual strengths and abilities in others while participating in activities.

Reflection

L.B.1* Children will identify how their leadership affects others in positive and negative ways.
L.B.2* Children will recognize and respect that others may have different perspectives and experiences which can help accomplish a goal.
L.B.3 Children will share how they felt during an activity and what emotions were present.
L.B.4 Children will identify what actions helped them succeed at a task.
L.B.5 Children will apply knowledge to accomplish a task.
  • Leadership development strategy

    To engage children and youth in leadership through:

    Leadership programs 

    Leadership focused programs are offered to children aged 5 to 16 in areas such as classroom-based programs, outdoor education and wellness.

    Lesson plans

    All program curriculums have a leadership component as part of the program experience. Our goal is to provide children with the opportunity to discover leadership through their individual interests (sports, special interest or recreation).

  • Leadership cards

    We want to catch participants leading. Throughout each day, leaders recognize participants with a leadership card when they demonstrate an effort to be a leader or a leadership skill. We hope to help participants understand the skills that make leaders who they are, recognize when they are demonstrating leadership skills and inspire them to continue to become a leader among their peers.

    Collect them all

    Collect a card for all five leadership skills and receive something special, recognizing participants as a leaders in our community. 

    Leadership low organized games (LOGS)

    Programs with a recreational activity component will experience our leadership low organized games designed to expose children to leadership focused games.

Performance goals

Our team is focused on delivering positive experiences and programs. In order to be at our best, we strive to execute at a high level while continuing to develop our skills in the following areas:

2019 Results

We want to ensure we are reaching our goals. We review our impact annually and establish new goals to ensure we are continually delivering programs and experiences in the way we intend.

Customer satisfaction = 84%, 92% plan to register again
Employee satisfaction = 92%, 95% intend to return as an employee
Number of participants = 16,267 annually, a record-breaking number of participants attended summer camps (previous record 2018).
Operation rate = 94% full (number of participants registered/maximum number of participants)

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Curriculum and lesson plans

  • Curriculums

    Programs are designed to introduce participants to new subjects and skills. Our program coordinators design unique curriculums that include subject-specific learning outcomes, leadership learning outcomes and physical activity development.

  • Lesson plans

    Led by program supervisors, our student leaders create engaging lesson plans designed for participants to learn through play. Lessons are created each year to ensure daily activities are fresh from year to year. 

Our team

The Mini U Programs team is built with approximately 200 honest, forward-thinking, competent and inspiring leaders We have a passion to support children and experience in leadership settings.

Six Mini U leaders pose for a photo outside the University of Manitoba Active Living Centre.

Requirements

All leaders of the program are required to submit criminal record, child abuse registry checks as well as be certified in emergency first aid and CPR level C annually. 

Additional lifesaving and swim instructor certifications are required for aquatics staff. Standard First Aid and CPR C will be recertified annually.

The leadership team

Our team facilitates the coordination and supervision of programs, leadership and management of employees as well as the administration and customer service of the unit. Together we serve children, parents and guardians, employees, community partners and collaborate with University of Manitoba employees.

The leadership team plans, prepares, executes and evaluates all aspects of the Mini U experience. They are responsible for modeling the way, inspiring a shared vision, challenging the process, enabling others to act and encouraging the work of the individuals on our team.

Contact and read more about our team:

Supervisors, leaders and head guards

As front-line staff, supervisors, leaders and head guards provide leadership to and supervise participants, provide customer service to families and support the administration of the unit. 

Supervisors and leaders bring our program experience to life by creating activities and engaging participants by creating safe and inclusive environments. They inspire participants to develop as leaders within specific interest areas.

Expressing concerns

Our goal is to create a positive experience for participants and their families. We understand the optimal experience may not be achieved for everyone at all times.

We believe all problems can be resolved through understanding, collaboration and the opportunity to learn and adapt. We are committed to being responsive to concerns as they are brought to our attention.

We are committed to providing customer service with kindness, professionalism, fairness and respect. We expect the same from you when working through concerns together. 

If you have a concern you would like share with us, our team would be happy to assist you. Connect with us.

Type of Concern Contact us 
Registration Registration customer service representative (204-474-6100)
Undesirable experience Your leader
Activities/content doesn’t match skill level Your leader
Swim skill level doesn’t match the group Your head guard
Type of activity Our program supervisors
Program content Our program coordinators
Employee performance Our program coordinators
Accommodation request Our program coordinators